Fans who are hopeful for major offseason overhauls may find themselves sadly disappointed this morning, as Paul Dottino of WFAN made some interesting observations and revelations on Friday night during a brief spot with Tony Paige of Sports Radio 66. Among them was that head coach Tom Coughlin will, in fact, return to the New York Giants in 2014 unless his family convinces him otherwise.
"He's back. There's no way this organization is going to get rid of him unless his family ties a couple of ropes around his ankles and drags him out of the Giants' facility kicking and screaming — he'll be back in 2014," Dottino told WFAN. "He's not going to go out this way — he still has energy, still got gusto. He's still trying to find ways to win even though his team is clearly short-handed and under-manned right now. They have tremendous respect for him as an organization, and he's going to get a chance to right this thing."
In addition to expecting Coughlin to return, Dottino also suggests that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is in no danger of losing his job, either.
"I can say the same thing about Kevin Gilbrive," Dottino continued. "He's in the 7th year as the Giants' offensive coordinator. He's going to finish in the bottom third of the league, but in his previous six years at the helm, the Giants have not finished lower than 14th. In fact, in five of those years they've been in the top 10 in the NFL in offense and won two Super Bowls. … Can you tell me any way in the world they could come up with a reason to fire him?"
Ironically, Dottino feels defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is the one who may have the best chance of getting the ax. Despite rapid defensive improvement this year, it's the wildly inconsistent play of his defensive unit that may cause Giants management to step back and more deeply evaluate his worth to the team.
"Fewell is an interesting case because the defense has been inconsistent throughout his time here," Dottino said. "It's always been, well, at times they've been really good and at times they've been really bad. … I think he's got questions to answer. But if he comes up with the right answers, I think Fewell has enough cred and enough positives on his resume where I can see [Giants management] keeping him. I can also see if he doesn't give them the right answers, they might consider making a change."
Of course, all of this is subject to change depending on how the final two games of the season play out. And while Tom Coughlin is almost certain to return, if the Giants get shutout in each of the final two weeks, Big Blue management will have no choice but to evaluate Gilbride and what's been a horrid offensive season.
There is also a chance that Gilbride draws interest from elsewhere around the league, or as a possible head coach at the college level. He's received quite a bit of interest from college programs in recent years, so should one come seriously knocking, he may opt to leave New York and take the job.
Ultimately, it would behoove Giants fans not to get too tied up in potential changes. Odds are, come 2014, Coughlin is the head coach, Gilbride is the offensive coordinator and Fewell is the defensive coordinator.
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